One of the best and most positive movements proliferating around the tech community is what Product Hunt founder and CEO Ryan Hoover calls “building in public.” Because of both lean startup principles and a thriving community of pay-it-forward individuals, we can all now build a little, learn a little, and then repeat. You’re able to deliver some level of value to an audience, then step to the sidelines to study what’s working and what’s not while standing shoulder-to-shoulder with your audience. That’s truly amazing when you really stop to think about it. As Ryan writes, this helps you increase buy-in, get feedback early, and generate excitement. But there’s something else I’ve learned: Sometimes, in some niches that are historically slower to innovate, extending the invitation to help build together is rewarding for its own sake, and it can lead to something truly great.
So allow me to do just that: NextView needs your help. We want to create the go-to hub for entrepreneurs and startup teams going from zero to one in absolutely anything important.
It’s 2015. Even cheese gets its own go-to hub online. But despite the huge need across every startup to gain early traction, and despite the success of scattered articles sharing related stories, this crucial idea doesn’t have a central home.
Now, I don’t mean the (false) overnight success stories found in splashy exit announcements. I don’t mean growth hacking for user acquisition, although that’s certainly part of this. Instead, if you’re a seed-stage startup taking that first step in anything (and at the seed stage, you’re going from zero to one in everything), it’d be great to have a place to go for support, inspiration, and practical resources to make the process easier and clearer.
We want to build that hub. But the only way we have even a shot at getting close is if we build in public. We’ll need your contributions and your knowledge around categories like Product & Design, Marketing & Growth, Hiring & Talent, Fundraising, and more. And we’ll certainly add our knowledge and that of our immediate network’s. But ultimately, while we’re excited to roll out this platform section today, after 18 months of initial work on the NextView platform, we’d like to make sure future versions dwarf and embarrass this one.
There’s a ton more to do, and we’re excited to get back to work on it, now that we’ve officially launched the hub itself.
Where Should You Start?
Below, just to get you started, we’ve included a few of the most popular projects we’ve created to date, as well as our strategy and principles for building this platform as they stand today (it’s a living document we plan to revisit often).
You can also subscribe via email here — we send one email per week at most.
Thanks in advance for your support and feedback! (Share anything either in the comments, tweet @NextViewVC, @Jay_zo, or email firstname.lastname@example.org — we just ask you focus on platform feedback via email rather than fundraising related things. Also, we’d love to syndicate any articles you’ve written offering tactics or stories about going zero-to-N at your startup!)
Example Pillar Resources:
– Traction podcast
– NextView blog
– Pitch Decks (two styles + walk-throughs from the partners)
– Board Decks (two styles + walk-throughs from the partners)
– Hitchhiker’s Guide to Boston Tech (microsite)
– Original Research: Should we take Harvard MBA entrepreneurs seriously? (A study of classes 08-14)
Example Quick-Hit Resources:
– Graphic: VC Meeting Map (a look at the pitch process after a successful first meeting)
– Flowchart: Seed VC Decision Tree (how one seed investor gets to yes or no)
– Checklist: Critical to-do’s immediately after raising seed capital
– Graphic: Series A Fundraise Funnels (How many VCs should you pitch? A look at actual startups’ funnels)
Example Blog Resources:
– How & Why to Hire a COO
– How to respond to questions about market size before you’ve even launched
– Should startups blog? An essay with data to decide once and for all
– Questions to ask when dividing founder equity
– Accidental VC: recurring article sharing lessons overheard inside a VC’s office from a startup operator
– Atypical or emerging rounds of early startup funding to know
– Why raise seed vs jump to Series A?
– Understanding different type of angels and their motivations
NextView Platform Strategy & Principles
As of October 2015.